It’s difficult to keep track of all the social networks that our teens are currently using. While there are many positives that can come from our teen’s online activity, there are some negatives as well. Here are the many pros and cons of social networking for teens:
 
Pros:
Communicate with friends
This can come in handy especially during the summer months, as it can be harder for your teens to see each other. Social networks enables them to extend their real-world friendships as well as making it easier to manage their social lives.
 
Confidence
Socialising online can be a more comfortable way for shy and insecure teens to communicate. They could find messaging online less intimidating than face to face conversation, especially if they’re in a group of friends. This can help them boost their self-esteem but their social skills as well.
 
Common interests
Social networks can make it easier for teens to find friends online who have similar interests to them.
 
Don’t feel alone
Teens who have difficulties or challenges of their own can often feel isolated amongst their own peers at school. Social networks can enable them to find friends who are also going through similar issues online but can also lessen their sense of isolation as well as allowing mutual support.
 
Cons:
Bullying
Cyber bullying is dangerous, as it can make a once safe online space into something more frightening. This is often the biggest online danger to kids and it’s an extension of bullying that can take place at school and can be just as damaging.
 
More vulnerable
Your teen needs to ensure when they are communicating with someone online that it is someone they trust and not to give too much information about themselves either. As most online predators can pose as something they’re not.
 
Less face to face interaction with your teens
It can often feel like your teen is spending more time in front of a screen instead of interacting with you or the rest of the family. While you’re convinced it can’t be good that they’re spending so much time online, the long-term effects of prolonged online activity aren’t known yet. But like with anything, your teen still needs to find balance with their online and other activities.
 
While there are many pros and cons to social networking for teens, it’s important your teen is aware of the risk and benefits of staying online. Have a conversation with your teen about their online activity, as well as placing some ground rules for the amount of time they will spend on their favourite social networks.

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